Often overlooked, but never disappointing, Germany offers history, nature and culture in abundance. Here's how to make the most of your visit to Europe's best kept secret
Aside from beer, lederhosen and other stereotypical images associated with Germany, Bavaria offers a wealth of beautiful scenery from crystal-clear lakes to dramatic Alpine peaks – get an eyeful of the Zugspitze, at 2,962m Germany’s tallest peak. Here, hikers, canoeists, paragliders and other adventurers are well-catered for.
For a gentler pace, head to the Black Forest for leisurely cycles and strolls or take a cruise down the Rhine past postcard-pretty towns and vineyard-covered hills. And after a busy day they can relax in one of the region’s many spas.
Then there are the cities – Berlin stands out, with its mix of grand culture and gritty recent history, plus buzzing nightlight life.
Whatever you’re looking for Germany has it by the stein-full.
The Wanderlust Team have put together a handy guide to Germany’s top 10 sights and attractions. From the hidden corners of the Rhine Valley to fairytale castles and vibrant modern cities, you’re bound to find something to get you started.
If you’re looking for ancient forests, timbered villages – and beer – then Tom Hawker reckons you can’t go wrong following in the footsteps of the Brothers Grimm along Germany’s famous fairytale route. If it’s a more cultured weekend you’re after, Tim Burford recommends Dresden.
Finally, if it’s mulled wine, gingerbread and knick-knacks you’re after, Penny Walker has put together a list of Germany’s eight best Christmas markets. Make sure you try the feuerzangenbowle where a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and dripped into the wine.
Top 10 sights and attractions in Germany – Wanderlust Team
Short Break: Fairy Tale Route, Germany – Tom Hawker
A cultured weekend in Dresden – Tim Burford
Eco-escape to Colditz – Mark Smith
Top 8 German Christmas markets – Penny Walker
Is there a race more stereotyped than the Germans? Katherine Price says the best thing to do on a visit to Germany is to leave your preconceptions in the departure lounge. There are a few idiosyncrasies you should be aware of though – like applauding with your knuckles – and she lists them here.
Mention Cologne and most people think of the awe-inspiring cathedral. And that’s it. Adam Groffman spent time in the city as a student and reveals 10 other cool things to do in his temporary home town.
Chances are you’re going to visit a bar while you’re in Germany. You could just order beer and pretzels, but if you want to appear more sophisticated, you could do worse than follow Natasha Singh’s guide to Germany’s best bar snacks and the wine to drink them with.
And if you’re a vegetarian, don’t despair. Katherin Price has some handy tips on surviving as a non-meateater in the land of the bratwurst.
5 things I wish I'd known: Germany – Katherine Price
10 cool things to do in Cologne – Adam Groffman
Germany's best bar snacks – and the wine to drink them with – Natasha Singh
How to survive in Germany as a vegetarian – Katherine Price
Katherine Price is Wanderlust’s ‘Man in Berlin.’ Welsh by birth, she has become an honorary Berliner by association, and can tell you anything you need to know about Germany’s vibrant and hip capital. 7 best places to eat? Not a problem. Looking for an authentic pub? Here’s six of them. Sick of the tourists? Here’s 9 alternative things you can do to avoid them.
Katherine has also put together a handy short break guide to Berlin and around. As well as a list of five things she wish she’d known before she moved there. Not to be outdone, Daisy Cropper presents 10 things to do for free in Berlin. And Peter Moore reveals the Berlin Wall’s hidden secrets.
7 best places to eat in Berlin – Katherine Price
Berlin's Top 6 authentic pubs – Katherine Price
9 alternative things to do in Berlin – Katherine Price
Short Break: Berlin and Around – Katherine Price
5 things I wish I'd known about Berlin – Katherine Price
10 things to do for free in Berlin – Daisy Cropper
The Berlin Wall's hidden secrets – Peter Moore
Artists throughout the ages have gone to Germany to push the boundaries – David Bowie and U2, to mention but two. So why not use your visit to shake it up too, especially with your photography? Steve Davey tells you how to break the rules and take better photos in the process.
If it’s inspiration you’re after though, look no further than the images captured by our readers on their travels to Germany.
Photography tips: Breaking the rules – Steve Davey
Ready to start planning your trip? Our Germany Travel Guide is the place to start. Make sure you drop by our Germany Essential Info page as well, for more everyday (but equally vital) information. And we’ve rounded up the latest travel news from Germany too.
If you have a particular question about Germany, pop over to the myWanderlust Forum where our knowledgeable community are ready to spring into action and share all that they know. Or check out the questions that have already been asked about Germany. The answer to yours might already be there.
Germany Travel Guide – Wanderlust Team
Germany Essential Info – Wanderlust Team
Here’s a selection of fantastic tours offered by our partners. From Black Forest skiing adventures and walking tours in Oberammergau to specialist Christmas Market tours, there’s something to suit every taste and budget.